bunt sign

Tuesday, January 30, 2001

I think part of the reason that I get so rattled when little things go wrong is that I feel as if I'm doing my part to keep the planet spinning. I mean, when I keep my head down and work straight through the day, I should be rewarded by something other than a stiff neck and a sore back. I shouldn't have to suffer through email problems, plumbing problems and money problems (all in one day). Okay, maybe the stiff neck is something I earned by forgetting to take breaks (I even skipped lunch). But the rest of it just isn't fair.

Messages I wanted to send sat in my outbox all day yesterday. If you expected to hear from me and didn't, that's the reason. The mail server unexpectedly and without warning ceased to exist. Finally I decided to use another account, one that I knew was working. I don't much like to do that, because it's one I sometimes use for work-related email, and my job is one area of my life that would be seriously compromised if it came in contact with my journal.

The cause of the email standstill is apparently something to do with the retooling at Microsoft, in light of last week's denial-of-service attack. Yes, my ISP is MSN, and they've suddenly decided to stop letting me send on my buntsign account (I can receive just fine). That's unacceptable, and I plan to let them know. I've had excellent service from them overall, and I'm not inclined to go elsewhere unless I'm given no choice.

As far as the plumbing goes, it's the same old flushing problem. (Talk about denial of service!) I've learned to cope, and not to get overly exercised about it, but it always happens at the most inconvenient times. (Well, duh!) I've also learned that there are certain tools that come in handy and should be kept near the toilet at all times. (And if you come to visit me, maybe you'd better use the bathroom at your house first. Just a suggestion.)

And as for money problems . . .

I don't understand this. I'm not buying anything, and yet I'm out of money. When I sat down last night to pay my own personal monthly bills, I had every reason to think there would be enough in my checking account to take care of everything. One reason, of course, is that I haven't been buying any new books or CDs. That should have given me enough to pay the rent all by itself.

And another reason is that I advanced myself some funds from one of my credit cards, because (a) I needed some breathing space, and (b) they were offering a ridiculously low interest rate. This was supposed to take care of the baseball tickets that I've been scrounging up. It should have been more than enough.

If I needed any more incentive to keep to my non-spending resolution, it's staring at me in black and white. I went through the bills and wrote down the minimum amounts due. When I added it up, it came to about a hundred dollars more than I have in the account. I couldn't believe it. It just about brought me to my knees. What does a person have to do to get by? Move? Stop eating? Turn off all the lights permanently?

You don't know how guilty it makes me feel to go through this self-involved whining, when there is so much real misery in the world. What right do I have to complain about anything? But if I took that argument (with myself) too far, I wouldn't have any right to live at all.

I'm feeling like a stranger in my own head right now. I know some of the feelings I'm having aren't even based in reality. Guilt is not productive (at least in this case; I'm sure there are situations where guilt is just the ticket). I'm just so tired, and I ache all over, and I don't seem to be able to do anything right.

It comes down to two things. Money, obviously (not enough of it, and what to do with the little I have). And my own incompetence. I hate that there are so many things I just can't do. And the things I can do are so insignificant. Sure, I worked all day. On what? Spreadsheets that will tell the accountant how to figure the company's taxes and financial position. And I felt good that I got so much done!

That's not what I set out to do with my life, and yet it's all I'm about, because it's all I can do. I can't make anything, or fix anything. And I can't even really do my job well enough to keep the piles of work on my desk down to a manageable level. Right now it seems all I can do well is complain, which makes for pretty weak journaling when you have as little to complain about as I do. So I think it's time to stop. For now.

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